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Mark Kenfield

Forza 500 (500w LED) vs. Profoto 1200w HMI

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Hey gents,

So I tested the Forza 500 up against my Profoto 1200w HMI today, and figured some of you might be interested in the results.

Long-story short? I was sadly underwhelmed by the output of the Forza.

Colour-wise the Forza was very impressive. Effectively equivalent to the HMI bulb according to my spectrometer. And the beam from the LED is remarkably even too (evidently a COB has significant advantages over an open-faced point-source light in this regard)

Output-wise however, there's clearly still no replacement for displacement. At 800 ISO and somewhere around 4-5 meters away from the lights (I didn't measure the distance, as I was only interested in comparative output), using a 50 degree Profoto Magnum reflector on the HMI (focussed to an evenly-spread beam), and the Forza's slightly tighter-beamed standard reflector, the numbers came in at:

- Profoto 1200w HMI: f/11 + 2/10
- Forza 500w LED: f/5.6 + 8/10

So approximately a 1.5 stop advantage to the HMI (that's three times more output - you'd need three Forza 500s to match the output of the 1200w Profoto)

Pairing the Forza up with it's Fresnel attachment (which works well, and has a pretty remarkable 45-10 degree range) I got:

- Forza 500w LED @ 45 degrees: f/5.6 + 1/2
- Forza 500w LED @ 20 degrees: f/8 + 6/10
- Forza 500w LED @ 10 degrees: f/11 + 1/2

Zooming the Magnum reflector on the Profoto in to create it's most intense hotspot (the hotspot being about twice the width of the Forza at 10 degrees - but the outer edges of the beam still spreading close to 50 degrees overall) I got:

- Profoto 1200w HMI: f/22 + 8/10

That's just a hair shy of f/32 (and with broad-beam reflector). With a tighter reflector that didn't lose as many lumens to the broader surrounding beam/spill those numbers would go up even higher.

Which suggests to me that these higher-output COB LEDs are basically still on par with HMI on a lumens-per-watt basis. Now if we were comparing to an HMI fresnel, we'd lose around a stop to the lens, and there'd be less in it (maybe only half a stop). But compared to any open-face HMI (bug-lights like the K5600 Jokers or this Profoto of mine, or any Arrimax HMI like the M18) there's still a massive difference in output.

I was kinda hoping there wouldn't be, so I could pick up the Forza 500 or the Aputure 600 and have all the output delights of the smaller HMIs, without the all bulb-blowing/5-minute warm-up times/and the joys of proper colour-shiftless dimming. But I fear we'll be waiting some time yet before we get there.

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23 hours ago, Mark Kenfield said:

Hey gents,

So I tested the Forza 500 up against my Profoto 1200w HMI today, and figured some of you might be interested in the results.

Long-story short? I was sadly underwhelmed by the output of the Forza.

Colour-wise the Forza was very impressive. Effectively equivalent to the HMI bulb according to my spectrometer. And the beam from the LED is remarkably even too (evidently a COB has significant advantages over an open-faced point-source light in this regard)

Output-wise however, there's clearly still no replacement for displacement. At 800 ISO and somewhere around 4-5 meters away from the lights (I didn't measure the distance, as I was only interested in comparative output), using a 50 degree Profoto Magnum reflector on the HMI (focussed to an evenly-spread beam), and the Forza's slightly tighter-beamed standard reflector, the numbers came in at:

- Profoto 1200w HMI: f/11 + 2/10
- Forza 500w LED: f/5.6 + 8/10

So approximately a 1.5 stop advantage to the HMI (that's three times more output - you'd need three Forza 500s to match the output of the 1200w Profoto)

Pairing the Forza up with it's Fresnel attachment (which works well, and has a pretty remarkable 45-10 degree range) I got:

- Forza 500w LED @ 45 degrees: f/5.6 + 1/2
- Forza 500w LED @ 20 degrees: f/8 + 6/10
- Forza 500w LED @ 10 degrees: f/11 + 1/2

Zooming the Magnum reflector on the Profoto in to create it's most intense hotspot (the hotspot being about twice the width of the Forza at 10 degrees - but the outer edges of the beam still spreading close to 50 degrees overall) I got:

- Profoto 1200w HMI: f/22 + 8/10

That's just a hair shy of f/32 (and with broad-beam reflector). With a tighter reflector that didn't lose as many lumens to the broader surrounding beam/spill those numbers would go up even higher.

Which suggests to me that these higher-output COB LEDs are basically still on par with HMI on a lumens-per-watt basis. Now if we were comparing to an HMI fresnel, we'd lose around a stop to the lens, and there'd be less in it (maybe only half a stop). But compared to any open-face HMI (bug-lights like the K5600 Jokers or this Profoto of mine, or any Arrimax HMI like the M18) there's still a massive difference in output.

I was kinda hoping there wouldn't be, so I could pick up the Forza 500 or the Aputure 600 and have all the output delights of the smaller HMIs, without the all bulb-blowing/5-minute warm-up times/and the joys of proper colour-shiftless dimming. But I fear we'll be waiting some time yet before we get there.

Thanks for the test. I'm pretty excited about these powerful LED's. Technically 3 Forza 500s are still cheaper than at 1.2k HMI right?

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Jae Solina said:

Thanks for the test. I'm pretty excited about these powerful LED's. Technically 3 Forza 500s are still cheaper than at 1.2k HMI right?

Depends on the HMI. But they are very attractively priced. My Area48 remote phosphor LEDs were about $4000 each (with all the basic accessories) and they're 160w each. For the price of two Area48s (320w of LED output) you can now get three Forza 500s (1500w of LED output). And the colour quality seems very comparable between the two.

No tungsten on the Forza, and to be fair the Area48s get much better lumen-per-watt output (so two of them are closer to half the output of three Forzas (than the 1/5 the wattage would imply).

But still, that's almost double the lumens for the same price.

And the Forzas are MUCH more versatile with modifiers (excluding the ability to change colour).

14 hours ago, Roly Osborne said:

Thanks for this. How do you find the fan noise on the Forza?

 

I didn't notice the fan noise at all. Though to be fair I wasn't looking for it. They seemed plenty quiet on the whole though.

Edited by Mark Kenfield
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1 hour ago, Albion Hockney said:

Yea the LED light companies over the hype the output on all of these lights so much! 

They certainly make it difficult to judge. It's why you always need comprehensive photometrics (especially including beam angle) in order to accurately judge the output.

The Aputure 600D for example, they're listing some of the specs, but not clearly clarifying the specific beam angle and modifier being used for each measurement.

In a way the most useful measurement (in order to compare the output to existing LEDs) is the photometrics of the light without any modifier (where you have a broad, 100+ degree beam angle). As that's what will tell you how the output actually compares to existing fixtures out there.

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On 5/30/2020 at 4:50 AM, Mark Kenfield said:

I didn't notice the fan noise at all. Though to be fair I wasn't looking for it. They seemed plenty quiet on the whole though.

Thanks Mark, much appreciated

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